20:41 GMT +321 September 2018
Listen Live
    In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 photo, U.S. Marines prepare to build a military site during a sandstorm in western Anbar, Iraq. The US-led coalition's newest outpost in the fight against the Islamic State group is in this dusty corner of western Iraq near the border with Syria where several hundred American Marines operate close to the battlefront, a key factor in the recent series of swift victories against the extremists.

    'Illegal Presence': US Must Pull its Forces Out of al-Tanf Base – Syrian FM

    © AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    9673

    During a Saturday press conference in Damascus, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem described the US military presence in the country as illegal, insisting that the American forces should leave the region.

    Speaking with reporters, Muallem linked talks on the future of the country’s southern region with the US’ withdrawal from its base in al-Tanf, established in 2016.

    “You should not believe the statements made about the agreement on Syria’s south as long as the US forces have not withdrawn from al-Tanf,” he said.

    The foreign minister also dismissed the reports of Iranian bases and forces allegedly deployed in Syria.

    "Iran’s presence does not exist in a military manner on the ground in Syria — these are tales told by Israel. Iran’s presence is legitimate as it is based on the request of the Syrian government, unlike the presence of the United States," Muallem stressed.

    In May, head of the Syrian government delegation to the Astana peace talks Bashar Jaafari called the US military presence in al-Tanf and nearby Rukban refugee camp in the south of the country as “pure aggression and occupation.”

    The United States occupies a 34-mile zone around its base in al-Tanf, where it has been training Syrian opposition forces since 2016; the base, however, has become a subject of criticism as Damascus and Moscow expressed concerns that Washington was “spewing Daesh* mobile groups who make inroads to launch subversive terrorist operations against Syrian troops and civilians.”

    Since 2014, the US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria without a UN mandate or authorization from the legitimate government, which Damascus views as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

    *Daesh, also known as ISIL/ISIS/IS, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.

    Related:

    Israel Exaggerates Scale of Iran’s Military Presence in Syria – Syrian FM
    US-led Coalition Strikes Civilians in Syria, Leaving Eight Dead - Reports
    Hezbollah, Iran-Backed Forces Won't Take Part in South Syria Assault – Source
    US Base in Poland, Syria's Constitutional Commission, Nord Stream 2
    Tags:
    US military base, Walid Muallem, al-Tanf, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment